Sex and the City star and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) patron, Kristin Davis, has taken to Twitter to thank the fosterers of rescued elephant Mwashoti.
One year old calf, Mwashoti, was treated by the DSWT the 14th of February after falling victim to poachers, requiring treatment for a horrendous snare wound which cut through the joint leaving the baby extremely compromised.
His mother remained by his side, and had to be anesthetized too in order for his injury to be treated. The decision was initially made to leave him to try to heal in a wild situation, remaining by his mother’s side.
However, monitoring by the anti poaching teams showed that his condition was deteriorating. His mother was forced to drop out from their herd, unable to walk any distance in search of food, and the two of them cut a lonely sight as she remained by the side of her ailing calf, who was becoming increasingly more immobile with each new day.
A second treatment was scheduled three weeks later and it became clear that he would need to be rescued to have any chance to survive. He needed to undergo intensive treatment for his now heavily infected injury. It was a difficult decision to make, but in the opinion of KWS veterinary officer, Dr Poghon, it was the right course of action to take.
The cable snare was first cut away from Mwashoti’s leg in early February, but the wound was no so severe that without daily medical attention he would fall victim to his injuries, or be torn apart by predators. His mother was struggling too, her condition was deteriorating as a result of being forced to remain close to water with little food available, inhibited because of her stricken calf.
After arriving at the DSWT, he was given a bottle of milk which he was reluctant to take at first. Fresh greens were placed in his stockade and a keeper was on duty with him throughout the night. By next morning he was already passionate about his milk bottle, and sucking the keeper’s fingers.
On the first morning his wound was cleaned again and dressed. He remained relatively calm throughout the procedure, despite the pain. He loved the company of the other orphans, and their presence helped settle him down.
After three weeks, it was decided he should join the little ones during the day which was the right decision, and he appeared so much happier, feeding well and loving the company of the other orphans. The other baby elephants were very aware of Mwashoti’s injury, often feeling and touching his wound tenderly, sometimes even carefully blowing soft red earth onto it in an effort to contribute towards his healing.
The end to this story is a very happy one as the power of green clay once again proved its worth keeping bone infection at bay throughout his time with the DSWT, enabling his leg to heal. Meanwhile, his mother safely rejoined the herd.